Tips for Packing Dishes for Moving

Packing for a move is a time consuming and tiring job but proper packing is imperative if you want your possessions to arrive at your new home undamaged. This is especially true when it comes to packing dishes, glassware, crystal, collectibles, figurines and other delicate items.

If your budget permits it is always preferable to have the professional packers employed by moving companies like Premiere Van Lines handle this part of your move. They have the expertise, techniques and the right materials to handle the packing of dishes and other breakable items. However, if you decide to tackle this task on your own, here are some professional tips for packing dishes for moving:

Use the Right Materials  

  • Make sure you use the sturdiest cartons possible for packing dishes. You can purchase professional quality china cartons from your moving company. These are triple walled, heavy duty cardboard construction. Alternatively you can purchase heavy duty cartons from a moving supply company or big box store like Home Depot.
  • Purchase a large quantity of clean, white packing paper from the same source where you get your cartons. When it comes to packing dishes, the more paper used the better.
  • Purchase proper wide, clear packing tape; cheap tape won’t do the job. Cartons containing dishes and other breakable items must be securely sealed especially on the bottom.
  • If you have a lot of collectibles, figurines or very fragile items, then it is always a good idea to purchase a supply of bubble wrap.

Timing of Packing

Since packing dishes for moving takes more effort and more time, it is a good idea to get a head start on the job when you are not tired or too busy with other things. Weeks before your move you can start packing the dishes you don’t require for day to day living. The good dishes, as most of us call them, that are used only for special occasions can be packed well in advance of the move.

Use Professional Packing Techniques

  • Getting your cartons set up is the first step when it comes to packing dishes. Make sure you securely tape the bottoms with proper wide packing tape. It is a good idea to run the tape up the bottom third of the carton wall for extra protection.
  • Having a paper cushion for dishes and other breakable items is the key to moving them safely on a moving truck. Start by crumpling packing paper and placing it in the bottom of the carton. Let it build up until you have about a 3” foundation for the packed dishes to sit on.
  • Organize a packing surface that is convenient and large enough to work on. A dining room table is a good place to pack dishes for moving. Make sure you protect the surface of the table. Set out the dishes to be packed and lay out a stack of packing paper.
  • When packing plates start partway down the stack of packing paper. Place a plate on a sheet of packing paper, fold paper up from corners to cover plate, fold over with another sheet of paper several times so you have a sufficient cushion to protect the plate, then you can add another plate and do the same until you have a small bundle of plates.
  • Always place plates on their side in cartons, never lay plates flat. Put heavier plates in first on the cushion of paper. Once you have a complete row, add another cushion of crushed plate and then add the next row of plates. If you have enough plates and saucers to fill a carton, add another 3” of crushed paper to the top of the carton, close and carefully seal the carton with packing tape. Remember movers will stack boxes so you don’t want boxes to end up crushed.
  • When packing glassware, the same rules apply to the cushioning of crumpled paper for the carton. If glassware is going into the same carton as plates only use lighter weight glasses since they will be packed nearer the top of the carton. If you have glasses with heavy bottoms, it is best to pack these in a separate carton so they can be packed at the bottom.
  • Glasses should first have paper inserted into the opening before rolling them in packing paper. As with plates, it is important to use enough paper to cushion the glasses before putting them in cartons. Glasses and stemware should be packed in rows on their side with lots of crushed packing paper between the rows. The tops of the cartons should always have enough packing paper inserted so the carton doesn’t get crushed during transit.
  • Figurines, collectibles and other fragile items like vases can be given extra attention by either using special figurine boxes that can be purchased from your mover. Another way to add more protection is to first wrap these items in bubble wrap before packing them in packing paper.


As you can see, the best tips for packing dishes for moving is to use very sturdy cartons, strong packing tape and lots and lots of paper.

For more information about packing contact your local Premiere Van Lines office.

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First, I would like to thank you and your team for the great work done over all the moving process.  Your guys did amazing work, we got all the information we need about our moving, we knew that you cared about us.  The loading day, everything went smoothly, the team was professional and took great care of our stuff!!  Thanks for all!!

Julie & Steve from Montreal

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